The Fall/Winter 20-21 fashion presented at Paris Fashion Week took a back seat to growing health and safety concern following the outbreak of COVID-19 during Milan Fashion Week, which ended just days prior. However, the show went on with designers sending denim with roomier fits, tonal patchwork and elevated deconstruction down their runways.
In amongst feathery frocks and pink princess dresses, Giambattista Valli served logo-covered jacquard denim. Key denim items included slouchy full-length jeans, bell-bottom jeans with front pockets, a short-sleeved denim jacket and a moto jean jacket. The denim garments added a youthful energy to the collection, and instant coolness when styled with more delicate opera gloves, tweed jackets and feather coat dresses.
Balmain zeroed in on dark wash denim with a buttery-looking surface. A long denim skirt featured a front slit and cargo pockets. An oversized denim blazer was embellished with square gold buttons. Straight-fit jeans and slouchy boyfriend styles were cuffed above leather boots. Overall, the denim garments were a casual foundation for the collection’s bolder latex and leather pieces.
Celine maintained its cool-girl ’70s aesthetic with more classic jeans with a slight bell bottom. The theme was translated for men with a slim-fitting Trucker jacket trimmed with flat silver grommets. Chloe echoed the trend with retro front-slit denim skirts and roomy jeans that flared out. Meanwhile, Dior introduced bleached out denim pieces, including a vest and matching wide-leg jeans with front patch pockets.
Y/Project continue to experiment with denim, primarily with twisted seams and deep-V waistbands that made undergarments a focal point. But whereas in the past the denim was frayed or destroyed, the F/W 20-21 focus was on saturated indigos and vintage black. Hems with front slits added a sleek look to slim stretch jeans, while creative director Glenn Martens’ signature layering effect added interest to denim tops and jackets.
Likewise, Lutz Huelle delivered an updated lineup of hybrid outerwear. A trench coat featured a Trucker jacket top and a denim pea coat was made out of tonal shades of denim. The designer also made a strong case for denim skirts and for twisting the fly to the side. Designer Anton Belinsky also focused on tonal color blocking for his denim garments, including a pair of high-waisted, wide-leg denim trousers and a padded coat.
But it was Balenciaga that summed up the doomsday feeling that is reverberating across the fashion industry, presenting an immersive apocalyptic-inspired show. In a stadium setting—complete with a flooded catwalk and LED screens flickering scenes of lava, clouds and flocks of birds—Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia told his dark and moody story for the season. Here, thigh-high leather boots protected worn-in jeans, and destroyed jeans were worn over black trousers. Details like belts with padlocks added a subversive feeling—especially next to garments that mimicked religious robes.